Burns & Burns claims 2021 Clarion Little League crown
By Kenn Staub
For the CLARION NEWS
Going into the Clarion Little League championship tilt at Clarion's Paul A. Weaver Park Thurday evening (June 10) only one thing was certain; the manager of the winning team's last name would be Kemmer. And so it was, as Burns & Burns, managed by Scot Kemmer, shutout Pizza Pub, managed by Ryan Kemmer, 6-0, to win the 2021 title.
Said Scott Kemmer of his team, "Throughout the season it was rough, to be honest with you. We battled all year, but we got better as the year went on and that's what we're here for, to get better.
"Tonight, I think we finally put it all together. We played defense, Dom (Corcetti) threw a heck of a game, and we had some timely hitting."
Dom Corcetti not only led Burns & Burns on the mound, but also at the plate. He threw six innings of no-hit baseball in earning the complete game win, striking out 10 against two walks. With the bat, Corcetti rapped a single and double, driving in two runs with each knock.
"That's not surprising (the no-hitter). He's one of the best that I've ever seen at this age. He brings the heat and he mixes his pitches well. He throws strikes. It's what you got to do in this league," offered Kemmer when talking about Corcetti.
"He's a special athlete. That all I've got to say about him, he's a special athlete. Look for him to do things in the future."
Tanner Miller, Pizza Pub's starting pitcher, proved a more than capable foil to Corcetti and Burns & Burns. Though he took the loss, Miller struck out eight in the 3 2/3 innings he pitched. During that time he gave up four hits, walked four, and plunked one.
Burns & Burns -- playing as the home team -- did not score until the second inning, though an opportunity was there in the first.
In the opening frame, Burns & Burns's lead-off batter Casey Kemmer walked and moved to second on a Pizza Pub error. The error also gave the next Burns & Burns batter, Corcetti, first base. Carter Hindman followed Corcetti, grounding to Miller, who, in a demonstration of smart baseball, threw to third getting the lead runner.
Corcetti and Hindman both moved into scoring position due to a passed ball, but were stranded at third and second, respectively, when Miller fanned the final two batters of the inning on seven pitches.
An inning later, Burns & Burns's Ryan Rinker received a one-out free pass and went to second when a ball off the bat of Tanner Love was misplayed. Rinker advanced to third and Love to second on a wild pitch, after which Miller loaded the bases with a two-out walk to Kemmer. Corcetti followed, lacing a single up the middle, plating Rinker and Love to give Burns & Burns a 2-0 lead.
That was it for scoring until the fourth, as Miller had a 1-2-3 third inning, fanning the first and last batter he faced.
Corcetti, meanwhile, cruised through the first three innings, not allowing a single baserunner and striking out six of nine.
Pizza Pub mounted its first threat of the game during the top of the fourth. Eli Nellis walked with one out, going to second on a wild pitch as Corcetti was in the process of issuing a free pass to the next batter, Miller. In a display of quick reflexes, Corcetti caught Nellis leading off second after another pitch to Miller, wheeling around and picking him off for the second out. A harmless fly ball to center subsequently ended the inning, stranding Miller at first.
Burns & Burns added four in the fourth. Rinker led off with a flare to right field and then scooted to second on a wild pitch to the second batter, Wyatt Dehner. Dehner walked and then Burns & Burns loaded the bases when Braden Larson was beaned.
A strike out momentarily settled things down, however, the brief respite was broken by a Corcetti double that plated Rinker and Dehner, making the score 4-0, and moved Larson to third.
Hindman followed Corcetti, clearing the bases with a single to right, staking Burns & Burns to a 6-0 lead.
Pizza Pub threatened again in the top of the fifth, the first batter, Brady Clinger, advancing to second on a throwing error after he put the ball in play. Clinger made it to third, but was left stranded as Corcetti induced a fly out and struck out the final two batters of the inning.
Nellis, having relieved Miller in the fifth, set Burns & Burns down in order in the bottom of the frame. He pitched 1 1/3 innings, striking out one and giving up no walks or hits.
Corcetti finished off his no-hitter in the sixth, striking out the first two Pizza Pub batters before a ground-out ended the game.
In addition to Corcetti's two hits, Hindman and Rinker each chipped in singles. Hindman was credited with two RBI.